Fuel Index

For freight that is shipped by truck, there are numerous factors that can determine your freight shipping quote. Among the biggest factors for trucking rates are the cost of diesel fuel, which continues to rise. That is why many carriers include a fuel surcharge with their rates. This surcharge helps to cover the fuel expenses accrued by the trucking carrier during transportation. Some shippers might be concerned that different carriers might spike the surcharge rates just to make extra profit. This is simply not true. Carriers across the United States use a fuel index that is neutral, fair and easy to calculate the surcharge.

The National Average Diesel Fuel Index is the most popular fuel indicator for domestic trucks. Every week, this fuel index is released to the public. By calculating the average diesel fuel costs by region, they determine a national average. This is what the carriers use to determine the fuel surcharge. The surcharge for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments will differ from full truckload shipments, with truckloads usually being a little higher in surcharge price. In addition, sometimes your surcharge will be displayed on the freight bill so that you know how much extra you paid.

The only way a fuel surcharge is avoided is if the National Diesel Fuel Index price drops below $1.10, which is very unlikely to happen anytime soon. That is why carriers and freight forwarders are looking into alternative fuels. In addition to the environmental benefits, these alternative fuels might save money on freight shipping by truck.